Summary Of This Way For The Gas By Borowski

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In Borowski’s This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman, the members of “Canada” are faced with the reality of trying to survive inside the most notorious Nazi death camp, Auschwitz II – Birkenau. In the camp, death, horror and fear were present at all times, but in order for the members of “Canada” to survive the atrocious conditions of the camp, it was necessary for them to not only conform, but to actively participate in the hateful and demoralizing hierarchal nature of the camp. With the death camp, the Nazis were at the top of the hierarchy, but the members of Canada created a hierarchy among the other prisoners in order to survive. Tadek and Henri, the most highlighted members of “Canada”, understood that hierarchy among the prisoners …show more content…

Not because they simply did not like the Jews, but in order for them to rationalize their survival, Tadek and Henri could not have compassion or empathy for them. Instead Tadek and Henri had to turn to hate to aid in their survival. Henri, after the rabbi would not stop wailing, said, “If they [the Jews] didn’t believe in God and eternal life, they’d have smashed the crematoria long ago,” (Borowski, 697). Henri, rather than placing the blame of the situation on the Nazis, laid blame on the Jews. He reasoned that it was their fault that the camp still existed, not because the Nazis had absolute control, but because the Jews relied on their religious beliefs to save them rather than themselves. He ignored the larger issue, rather finding it easier to blame the victim instead of the culprit. Thus dissociating himself from the Jews, making the root of the problem the Jews, not the Nazis, and again ensuring his …show more content…

When the Jews first stepped of off the train into Auschwitz, Tadek thought, “It is the camp law: people going to their death must be deceived to the very end. This is the only permissible form of charity,” (Borowski, 700). And while this act was seen as a form of charity in the eyes of the prisoners, it was charity routed in self-service. Not telling the Jews made killing them easier as they would not revolt, but it also made it easier for the prisoners. Not having to actively acknowledge the horrors that would soon be occurring helped the prisoners keep their sanity and their will to live, again ensuring their

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